Paladin PVP Video: 1st Look at “Protribution” Spec

This HD video is narrated footage of my 80 “Protribution”-spec’d Paladin in an Arathi Basin battleground (queued solo) for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, patch 3.3.5.

Protribution is a Protection/Retribution spec that offers a functional blend of survivability, CC, and burst damage. There is a good Protribution guide written by Stax on the WoW Paladin forum, and tarja wrote an excellent article covering the spec’s playstyle on the LoDBlog.

(Double-click on the video to see it in higher-resolution / larger screen size on YouTube)

You’ll notice that I didn’t include any clips where I bubbled. I definitely use bubbles and longer cooldowns whenever I think they’re needed. E.g. we were getting rocked in the first 5 minutes of that Arathi Basin match and I burned both Lay on Hands and Divine Protection defending nodes. They were on cooldown when I was fighting that well-geared Warlock, but it did give me an opportunity to mention the importance of kiting, even as a melee.

If you have any questions, feedback, or comments, please post ’em!

I’m definitely still in the learning process and have several areas to improve on as a Protribution Paladin, e.g.:

  • managing my mana more carefully. Several times in the video my gas tank got pretty low
  • weaving in defensive abilities (Holy Shield, Cleanse, Sacred Shield, etc) in between my attack ability cooldowns


The majority of the gear I’m using in the video is obtainable through battlegrounds and Wintergrasp:

  • From honor points: helm, necklace (renting Relentless as I grind honor), shoulders, cloak, chest, belt, boots, a ring, Medallion trinket
  • From Wintergrasp marks: PVP trinket (a placeholder trinket until I get anything better LOL)

The following pieces came from PVE:

  • From VoA25: Wrathful hands, T9 PVE legs for the +block value
  • From PVE: 1H axe from ToC10, wrists from heroic Pit of Saron (to be replaced with Wrathful)
  • From badges: libram, shield

As noted above, I still need to grind Honor points to replace some of my gear.

Once I get a better 1H weapon and shield I will apply Berserking and Titanium Plating respectively.


Here’s a link to my 58/13 PVP spec, which is commonly known as the “Jagoss” spec:

As you can tell, after the no-brainer Avenger’s Shield glyph, I am using the following glyphs:

  • Hammer of Justice: the reason is simple, if your Avenger’s Shield is on cooldown and your opponent is 11-15 yards away, we have no gap closer aside from our run buff. That extra 5 yards is well worth the glyph, esp against kiters and healers
  • Shield of Righteousness: this is a debatable choice, but I haven’t gotten skilled yet about managing mana as Protection, so this helps

So far Protribution has been a very functional PVP spec and the honor grind has been worth the investment in time.

P.S. I am relieved to be done with the leveling and basic gearing process for my Paladin, my 1st alt in WoW to reach the level cap. As you know if you read my blog, I have disliked the leveling process in every game except for WAR. I love endgame PVP where I can face opponents of equal or better gear (when I have at least a baseline set as I do now).

P.P.S. I plan to publish more Protribution videos from battlegrounds and hopefully arena. Stay tuned!

P.P.P.S. Hey this video’s in HD! I found out how to create HD videos with Windows Movie Maker on XP. The quality difference between 480p and 720p is huge :)

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Posted in Paladin, PVP, Video, World of Warcraft
24 comments on “Paladin PVP Video: 1st Look at “Protribution” Spec
  1. Asherony says:

    Out of curiousity, why do you prefer prot to ret? I tried protribution when I last played WoW a few months ago, but it seemed like a “burst down the enemy fast or be useless” spec, not unlike an arcane mage (now that’s an odd comparison). He’s nice in a 2v2/3v3 comp built around him (burst / chain CC) but overall looked kinda meh.

    Other than that, glad to see you again :3

    • taugrim says:

      I prefer Prot’s CC mechanics over Ret’s. The issue withe Repentance is the longish CD and it’s broken by damage. Whereas with Prot CC you can continue to attack the target.

      Protribution has pretty good staying power – managed correctly mana will last a while (although it’s not near as good as Ret) and the spec will output solid sustained DPS and some on-demand burst.

    • Henrik says:

      so whens then next info, or video comming out mate,.

      • taugrim says:

        Just got back from vacation last night.

        Next video will depend on how soon I can capture footage that seems useful / helpful / illustrative. Some nights the BGs are lopsided and the footage isn’t worth publishing.

      • Henrik says:

        can u do a pice on how to kite more in depth, like distance/range, movement,jumping or not, ect
        a section on tatc for difrenc bg maby,.

        and if you can, can u do some info on gear pvp, and off pices, all pvp or half pvp/pve the difference,”wet noodle/hard hitter ?”

        what resiliance to aim for in bg/arena,.

  2. Athelbert says:

    Hey Taug! Long lost hello from an old LOTRO comrade! Your Moonkin PvP video inspired me to dust off my level 65 Boomchicken and get him to 80, and I am giving serious thought to trying out the Protribution build on my Pally. Just wanted to say hi, and, as usual, great job on the videos–keep ’em coming!


    • taugrim says:

      Hi Athelbert,

      Great to hear from you man. What server do you play on for WoW? Are you still playing LOTRO?

      Say hi to Loradove for me.


      • Athelbert says:

        Lora is fine, we finally left LOTRO, after much hand-wringing, lol. We’re on Argent Dawn, just got to 80 on our first, and fumbling our way around, hehe. Love Retribution, but PvE tanking, not so much. Have a mix of PvE and PvP purples, and starting to really get into Battlegrounds. Beware, I’ll be picking your brain frequently, lol. Take care.


      • taugrim says:

        I’m pretty new to Paladin too, have a lot to learn :)

        It’s a totally different playstyle from Balance Druid and from what I remember of Feral back from TBC. But I’m really enjoying it so far.

  3. taugrim says:

    I posted this video on the WoW Paladin forum – there was some good discussion in the thread, so here’s the link:

  4. J.Yo says:

    hey taugrim.

    was wondering about your thoughts on the cata trees and the fact that they lock you into one tree until 31 points have been spent. do you see this as a possible protribution killer?

    • taugrim says:

      The issue isn’t having to put 31 points in a given tree (e.g. Protection). Most players tend to get the final talent in a tree and then go part-way into another tree even in WotLK.

      Whether or not Protribution will be viable in Cataclysm will be based on 2 factors:
      1. the relative performance of Protribution against Retribution (and Holy) specs, and
      2. the relative performance of Protribution against other classes

      Per #1 above, there are some changes in Cataclysm Beta talents (see that make Protribution a bit weaker and Retribution a bit stronger relatively speaking compared to what’s live in WotLK
      a. the snare (i.e. slow) effect of Avenger’s Shield (AS) has been removed
      b. the 20-sec cooldown reducing talent for HoJ is in the 1st tier of the Prot tree, which is easy-hanging fruit for Ret
      c. there is no additional talent to reduce the cooldown of Hammer of Justice (HoJ) from 40 to 30 sec
      d. Ret has a new Rogue-like “kick” interrupt talent ability called Rebuke that requires 16 points in Ret
      e. Ret has been giving a talent called Long Arm of the Law at the 11th and 12th points that is a gap closer to a target >= 15 yards from the Paladin. If you go 31 points into Prot you can only get 1/2 in this talent

      However, it’s worth noting in Cata Beta that:
      i. Prot talent Shield of the Templar reduce AS cooldown to 21 sec
      ii. Prot talent Grand Crusader gives Crusader Strike (CS) and Hammer of the Righteous (HotR) a 20% chance to refresh the cooldown on AS

      So while Protribution will have a 40 sec instead of 30 sec cooldown on HoJ and no snare on AS, we’ll be able to use AS more often than we can in Live.

      What does all this mean? I’m not sure yet :). I try not to worry much about Cata Beta because it’s in flux.

      If it turns out in Cata that Ret is the more functional spec, I’ll switch to it. Right now, I’m enjoying Protribution much more than any other PVP spec I’ve tried in WoW (Feral Druid @ 70, Balance Druid @ 80, Retribution Paladin @ 80, Protribution Paladin @ 80).

      I hope Protribution is still viable in Cata. I learned back in Warhammer Online how much fun it was to play both 1H and 2H specs for “tank” classes.

  5. Oozo says:

    One of my favorite playstyles is the “unkillable tank.” It’s amazing how much aggro tanks can draw even in PvP. :P

    I’m working on my hunter ATM, and I really miss self-heals. DPSorTANK-healing hybrids are the way to go ATM. They are going to be shutting down how effective hybrids can be with the new talent trees, however.

    • taugrim says:

      Yea it’s fun solo defending nodes as a tank.

      Hunter’s can’t self-heal but Protribution isn’t much of a healer from a mechanics perspective. I actually do very little in-combat healing.

      I don’t consider Protribution to be a hybrid – it feels very tanky.

      • Oozo says:

        Yeah, but it might be enough to save yourself from dying to DoTs after you get a kill!

        I have to feign, eat, and pray. :-D

  6. Nathan says:

    Hello Tau my main man,

    Hows it going?

    Here is my latest video. Bit of a crit montage if you will, don’t hold it against me.


    Part 2 coming soon, Paladin and priest duel etc

  7. Nathan says:

    Just had a quick glance at that Forum thread and WoW is the most elitist game out there so some people won’t heed your polite ‘this toon is fresh’ words and just bombard you with criticism. Don’t worry about it…

    For the record if it wasn’t mentioned, Mage’s Polymorph is a 360-backcast too if that helps.

    • Oozo says:

      It’s really amazing how the WoW community has degraded over the years. I really think a lot of these people are so miserable in life that sh*tting on people online is the only way they can feel better about themselves.

      But, then again… I hate people in general so you have to take what I say with a grain of salt. ;)

    • Oozo says:

      Okay, I read the thread quickly and honestly it wasn’t that bad (relatively speaking). Check out the rogue forums sometime. :P

  8. Potent says:

    Hey Taugrim. I posted before about getting back into WoW and have been enjoying your videos. I played a lot with a RL friend running a protribution spec, and he was having fantastic fun with it. In 2s (UH DK/Protribution pala) we have had mixed results, the potential is there for serious lockdown on healers by chaining our silences and stuns however we find ourselves highly disadvantaged against caster cleaves and dps/healer combos because of the ease at which one of us can be removed from the fight via cyclone/polymorph/blind/sap. Another problem is that if we don’t get our CC chain of perfectly we are in trouble due to the high CD on strangulate.
    In BGs we have a tonne of fun and with a protribution spec he has been winning plenty of 1v1/2/3s!

    I’ve recently returned to WAR as the PvP in WoW has come to feel quite grindy and is too based around CC for my taste. Maybe its the comp we play in 2s but when the result of a fight is based so much around stopping other players from playing I feel something is a bit wrong. Also the community on my server is worse than poor :P

    WAR has been a pleasant suprise, the most recent patches have done a LOT for balance, and while not perfect it definitely feels as if its getting there. There have also been some nifty changes for the SM in particular that i’m sure you’d be interested in :)

    Once again, great videos! :)

    • taugrim says:

      because of the ease at which one of us can be removed from the fight via cyclone/polymorph/blind/sap

      Your pally is popping his Sacrifice’s, right? It definitely helps.

      I’ve recently returned to WAR as the PvP in WoW has come to feel quite grindy and is too based around CC for my taste. Maybe its the comp we play in 2s but when the result of a fight is based so much around stopping other players from playing I feel something is a bit wrong.

      Yea, that is the big issue with WoW PVP – the possibility of being chain-CC’d can make the PVP an unenjoyable experience.

      As far as the grind goes, well, I finally starting to arena over the past week, playing with random classes to experiment. Still under 100 matches total, but I did get the Hot Streak achievement (10 consecutive wins) with a Shadow Priest running a PVE spec.

      WAR has been a pleasant suprise

      Glad to hear you are having fun :)

      • Potent says:

        Oooh yeah, I suppose the sacrifice damage stops the pally getting cc’d.. interesting :) thx for the tip. I’ll be using this when he bugs me for his required 10 games this week!

  9. Mateush says:

    Hey, Can you put there –>,,12213 that build on 3.3.5. Please for help and thank you.

  10. Dyndi says:

    Can u tell me your old talants 3.3.5 LK ?

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